10 tips for not getting sick while flying

We love a holiday. But even as seasoned travellers we can’t always avoid that other kind of travel bug — a cold 🤧

With the seemingly sub-zero cabin temperatures and the fact that there always seems to be at least one person coughing or sniffling, flying can sometimes be the less glamorous side of travelling. But there are ways you can combat the germs and continue to enjoy your inflight entertainment.

So, here are our 10 tips for not getting sick while flying.

1. Layer up

Planes are almost always cold, because lower temperatures help prevent hypoxia — a condition that results in the body being deprived of oxygen. But that also means you’re often left shivering if you forget to pack some extra layers. So, bring a comfy jumper or jacket that you can roll up into a neck brace or cushion if the temp heats up.

2. Take the light option

While you might feel like indulging yourself during the flight (because holidays!), take our word for it and choose the lighter meal option when the food cart comes along. You’ll feel better, sleep better and your body will thank you by fighting fit in return. Plus, you might avoid any extra toilet time 😊

3. Sanitise it

This one is worth the funny looks you might get from fellow passengers. Whip out your pocket-sized hand sanitiser and disinfect the arms rests, entertainment systems and tray tables as well as your hands when you first get to your seat. You’ll thank us later for this one.

4. Keep hydrated

While keeping up the fluids is always advised, it’s particularly important on a plane. Because the humidity levels are low inside the pressurised cabin, it can be easier to become dehydrated — especially if you’re pounding back coffees or complimentary drinks.

Pop some dissolvable electrolyte tablets in your carry-on luggage and enjoy!

5. Avoid the booze

Keeping hydrated also means not overdoing it with the alcoholic beverages. As your blood-oxygen levels drop while you’re high in the air, booze starts to affect your body in different ways. The alcohol inhibits your blood cells from effectively absorbing oxygen and also contributes to dehydration 🍷

6. Get the best view

Window seats not only have a great view, they also sit right in the airflow zone, meaning you have air constantly cycled around you—rather than the stuffy still air surrounding your aisle-seat neighbour. Aisle-seat passengers also come in contact with more people, meaning they have increased chances of contracting germs.

7. Move around

Keep the blood circulating and your mind ticking on long-haul flights with regular movement. Walk laps of the plane or get talking to the attendants and other passengers along the aisle. This will also help lessen the risk of deep vein thrombosis.

8. Chew Gum

If your mum has ever told you to munch on a stick of gum while a plane lands, she was right! Chewing gum during landing can help lessen the effects of the changing cabin pressure, which causes the vibrations in your eardrums to change (which can be painful). Thanks for the tip, Mum.

9. Rest up

Being well-rested the night before a flight (and after) is also a great way to give your body its best chance of bouncing back strong. If you can, try to get some sleep on the flight but be mindful of changing time zones. Pop in those noise-cancelling earbuds and recline for some Zs.

10. Beat the clock

To help stop jet lag on those long-haul flights, get ahead and set your watch to the local time of your destination as soon as you get on the flight. This will help trick your body, and your mind, into thinking you’ve already adjusted to the destination time.

Depending when you land, try to adjust to whatever time of day it is and do your best to stay awake at least until the sun sets.

And, as always, enjoy the trip!

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